Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Not Again: Oscar Noms '07


Some post-nomination reaction now that Salma Hayek has finally calmed down about Volver not being nominated. My predictions didn't do altogether too poorly. 30.5 out of 40 in the major categories is off from last year's 35/40 awesomeness, but still not awful. I put an asterisk (*) when my "alternate" choice got nominated, not that that happened all that much.

BEST PICTURE
Babel
The Departed
Letters from Iwo Jima
Little Miss Sunshine
The Queen

The big news is the Dreamgirls snub, which some people are going to say they saw coming all along, but very, very few of them will have actually predicted. It wasn't one of my favorite movies this year, but I'm sad to see it snubbed nonetheless. In a year when I don't care what wins Best Picture, it was at least a contender I could feel good about winning. I haven't seen Letters From Iwo Jima, because it hasn't screened in Buffalo yet. It hasn't screened anywhere else in America either, aside from the living rooms of enough Academy members who clearly still really, really like Clint Eastwood. Little Miss Sunshine is the only movie from this list to show up on my top ten, so that's what I'll be rooting for, though it now looks like this race will be, depressingly so, a repeat of the Clint vs. Marty race from a whopping two years ago. Pass. [Predictions: 4/5*]

BEST DIRECTOR
Alejandro González Iñárritu - Babel
Martin Scorsese - The Departed
Clint Eastwood - Letters from Iwo Jima
Stephen Frears - The Queen
Paul Greengrass - United 93

I've mentioned Clint and Marty already, so I'll just enthuse about Paul Greengrass getting a much deserved nomination for United 93. I had a hunch he would (I predicted it, after all), but it was heartening to see nonetheless. He's the only one from this list who's currently in my top 5, though, like I said, I haven't seen Letters From Iwo Jima yet. [Predictions: 4/5]

BEST ACTOR
Leonardo DiCaprio - Blood Diamond
Ryan Gosling - Half Nelson
Peter O’Toole - Venus
Will Smith - The Pursuit of Happyness
Forest Whitaker - The Last King of Scotland

You know, the worst thing about the nominations this morning was the realization that I'm going to have to see Blood Diamond now. Dammit! I was not a fan of DiCaprio's performance in The Departed, so I'm not as up in arms as a lot of other people about him getting the nod for the "wrong" movie; I'd just have rathered him not get nominated at all. Whitaker's is the only performance I've seen yet (Half Nelson is on my coffee table as we speak, and Venus should be opening here soon), and I found it to be a supporting performance besides. I'm still pulling for him to win here, though. [Predictions: 4.5/5 (DiCaprio has to count as partial credit, right?)]

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Alan Arkin - Little Miss Sunshine
Jackie Earle Haley - Little Children
Djimon Hounsou - Blood Diamond
Eddie Murphy - Dreamgirls
Mark Wahlberg - The Departed

Haven't seen Blood Diamond, as I mentioned, or Little Children either. Hopefully the three nominations the latter received will allow it to actually open across the U.S. already, damn! [Actually, it looks like it won't even be coming to DVD until April 24. Not sure at all what that means as far as theatrical disctribution, but somebody needs to get me a copy of that flick or something. Christ. This opened in October!] As for the others, Arkin's about three down in terms of the Little Miss Sunshine actors I'd have nominated here, and I wasn't all that wild about either Murphy or Wahlberg. What is it about me and this category? We never seem to get along. Though I will say that Marky Mark is well overdue for Oscar attention, after Boogie Nights and I Heart Huckabees, so I can't be too upset. [Predictions: 3/5*]

BEST ACTRESS
Penélope Cruz - Volver
Judi Dench - Notes on a Scandal
Helen Mirren - The Queen
Meryl Streep - The Devil Wears Prada
Kate Winslet - Little Children

As expected. Dench, Mirren, Streep, and Cruz are all currently in my top 5, and I haven't seen Winslet yet. Which makes this Oscar's smartest category of the year. Well played, Academy. [Predictions: 5/5]

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Adriana Barraza - Babel
Cate Blanchett - Notes on a Scandal
Abigail Breslin - Little Miss Sunshine
Jennifer Hudson - Dreamgirls
Rinko Kikuchi - Babel

Disappointing that there were no surprises, but it's nice to see fresh faces dominate a list like this. Only Barraza and Breslin show up on my list, but Hudson's presence (and still likely win) isn't exactly going to have me scowling off in a corner. Kind of sad that in a year so rich with supporting female performances (by my count, about seventeen would have been award-worthy), these nominees kind of dominated everywhere. I'll play my mourning ode to Emma Thompson and Emily Blunt when I give my own movie "awards" during Oscar Week. [Predictions: 4/5*]

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
The Black Dahlia (Vilmos Zsigmond)
Children of Men (Emmanuel Lubezki)
The Illusionist (Dick Pope)
Pan’s Labyrinth (Guillermo Navarro)
The Prestige (Wally Pfister)

The Black Dahlia is, like, next up on my Netflix list, so I can't yet speak to how it was filmed, but I can say that this list matches 3/5 with mine (Children of Men, Pan's Labyrinth, The Prestige), and I didn't think The Illusionist was half bad either, making this easily one of the success stories of the morning. Not sure what Rodrigo Prieto ever did to piss off the cinematographers in the Academy, but after not winning for clearly superior work in Brokeback last year, he's again snubbed for Babel. Sucks. Very happy Pfister's work on The Prestige was able to rise above that movie's tepid overall reception. [Predictions: 1/5, and we will never speak of it again]

BEST EDITING
Babel
Blood Diamond
Children of Men
The Departed
United 93

You win this round, Blood Diamond. But I will have my vengeance. This is another that matches 3/5 with my own list (Children of Men, The Departed, United 93), so a solid "woo-hoo!" overall. Very happy the virtuoso work on Children of Men was recognized. [Predictions: 3/5]

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
Babel (Gustavo Santaolalla)
The Good German (Thomas Newman)
Notes on a Scandal (Philip Glass)
Pan’s Labyrinth (Javier Navarrete)
The Queen (Alexandre Desplat)

I agree on Babel and Notes on a Scandal, though those will probably be the two choices most maligned by the folks who feel Desplat should have been double-nommed (also for The Painted Veil, which I should be seeing next week). Clint Mansell (The Fountain) got hosed, but I saw that one coming. [Predictions: 3.5/5 (Desplat partial credit)]

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
Borat
Children of Men
The Departed
Little Children
Notes on a Scandal

Ugh, Borat? Best...script? This is how you know that Academy is full of shit and just wanted to toss the "cool movie" a bone. Nominate the Kazakh national anthem for Best Song, at least. That's the nomination it truly deserves. My two favorite adapted scripts of the year (Children of Men, Notes on a Scandal) got nominated -- in a weak year, but still -- so I'm happy overall. A lot of people (me included) were expecting The Devil Wears Prada here, but I think that one was carried more by the actors than the script, so I'm down with the snub. [Predictions: 3/5*]

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Babel
Letters from Iwo Jima
Little Miss Sunshine
Pan’s Labyrinth
The Queen

Sad that Stranger Than Fiction couldn't pull off the nomination, but the love just wasn't there for this movie in any corners but this one. Great to see Guillermo Del Toro with a nomination all to himself, even though Best Director was far more suited to the film's (considerable) strengths. I am really hoping Little Miss Sunshine can topple The Queen here. Though a Babel upset wouldn't entirely shock me. [Predictions: 3/5*]

- - - -

You know, the biggest disappointment of the morning? The realization that the Dreamgirls snub means less chance of seeing Ellen Degeneres in a bouffant wig and sparkly gown side-by-side with Beyonce. I'd have killed for that. What's she gonna do for Letters From Iwo Jima, you know? Ah well. Leaves more time for the extended Little Miss Sunshine mom-dance party.

4 comments:

NYOne said...

This was the first year in ages I wasn't able to watch the announcements live (stupid work), so thank you for your timely rundown. But where is your Studio 60 recaplet? I can't actually watch the episode until I have a sense of just how much I'm going to be annoyed by it.

Joe R. said...

I took the week off due to Idol, but Miss Alli's recaplet should be up soon.

jessica said...

My reaction to Blood Diamond was that it was too long and cliched and somewhat preachy, and that it didn't really impress me. Of course, that's kind of how I reacted to The Constant Gardener, so what do I know? I'll be interested to hear what you think of the performances, which I had a hard time separating from a rather uninspired, uninspiring film.

Iwo Jima opened here this past Friday but I was sick all weekend and didn't get to see it.

I'm surprised you haven't seen Little Children yet, considering all the virtual ink you've been giving to Jackie Earle Haley. Has it really not opened in Buffalo yet? That can't be right, because Columbus got it 2 weeks ago and we're practically living in the dark ages here.

Sorry, but Studio 60 thoroughly annoyed me last night. (Jordan: "Stop." Danny: "No." Me: "Wha..?") I hope Miss Alli lambasts Sorkin. Again.

Kamikaze Camel said...

Joe, my comments are at my own blog because they were so identical to mine that I thought I'd post yours instead. :)